As I look out onto the great expanse, I am struck by how bleak it appears. I can see to the shimmering heat in the distance what appears like a broken landscape of desert and vegetation. Beyond this outcrop from where I am stood, this grey rock, it appears to be a steep drop downwards.
As I find my way carefully, I can hear the sound of the ground beneath my feet. It seems dry, brittle, as if not only the sun has baked it through an immense time, but also that something else had destroyed it, ruined the fabric of the ground itself.
There are patches of green springing up here and there, but not a lot. what there is seems spiky, prickly, like a cactus, but I feel certain not edible.
I come across a container, it appears to be made of metal. When I kicked it, it rolled a little, clattering as it went. It seems odd, such sounds in what has until now been a void, a place where other than my breathing sounds do not exist.
This metal container, it has a door. I open it, and inside is a stench I can barely comprehend. There appears to be some kind of meat in it, not too fresh, and certainly nothing I recognize. It glistens red in parts, as if whatever it was is still in the process of dying.
The sun is hot, almost unbearable. If I do not find some kind of shelter soon, and surely a source of sustenance, I will likely perish. I stop and look around, and in every direction I see a fine clear shimmering, like heat on a desert floor. It doesn’t bode well for my progress.
Will I die before I have even begun?
I know I have little alternative, and so I continue. I stumble occasionally as I walk, feeling the cross of the heat and a bitter perspective on my future, that this may be all there is. A hopeless wandering until I fall, dead prey for whatever life remains out here.
Am I all alone? The last man standing here.
I come across something I never expected to see, a metal sign on a high post. On it are the words:
Amazing. Signs of life, or what is left of it. I walk over a small hill past the sign, and there appears signs of buildings. Fallen, broken, perhaps empty, but they offer greater hope than I have felt for some time.
A loud cracking sound rings out, like gunfire. It reminds me of a time before, reminds me that I know guns, and this is the sound of an attack. Another shot rings out, and another, pinging off rocks near me.
Someone is shooting at me. I must find cover. I shall wait and see, see who it is that wishes to attack me. I will be ready.